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Childcare commitment needs detail, funding

Tony Abbott's childcare announcement contained no detail and lacked any commitment to increased funding that the sector desperately needs, the Australian Greens have said.

"Childcare funding must be increased to ease the impact of soaring fees," the Greens' early education and care spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

"When it comes to childcare, Tony Abbott needs to put his money where his mouth is. The early education sector is critically underfunded in Australia and it will take more than motherhood statements and tinkering at the edges to save it.

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Youth Connections funding must be reinstated

Penny Wright 1 Dec 2014

I move that the Senate

1.      notes:

a.      the Youth Connections program has assisted hundreds of disengaged young people to reconnect to education, training or employment;

b.      funding to the program has been cut by the Federal Government and will officially end on December 31, 2014;

c.       the government has not allocated any funds to any similar or replacement program;

d.      this will be the first time in 20 years there is no federally-funded program to assist young people to re-engage with pathways to future work and education;

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Greens say childcare report must be released immediately

The Australian Greens have called on the Abbott government to release the Productivity Commission's childcare report immediately.

"The childcare sector is in crisis and the government must release this report immediately," the Greens' childcare spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

"What the draft report showed us is that, if the government doesn't increase funding, the childcare crisis will continue to worsen. Tinkering at the edges won't do anything until overall childcare funding is increased.

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McSchools on the menu

Penny Wright 24 Oct 2014

The Federal Government could partner with McDonald's under a new corporate schools scheme, Australian Greens spokesperson for schools Senator Penny Wright has revealed.

Questioning in Senate estimates this week revealed the Education Department was discussing joining up with the fast food giant, and McDonald's has conceded it may participate in the Geelong pilot.

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Curriculum questions should Spurr rethink of national review

Penny Wright 22 Oct 2014

Australian Greens spokesperson for schools Senator Penny Wright has called on the government to strike out advice to the national curriculum review from the academic at the centre of the racist emails scandal.

In Estimates questioning today it was also revealed that Professor Barry Spurr was paid $8250 for his input into the review of the Australian curriculum, and that the Education Department did not check the qualifications of the appointees.

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Keep big business out of the curriculum: Greens

Penny Wright 15 Oct 2014

Multi-national corporations should not be writing lesson plans for Australian classrooms, says Australian Greens spokesperson for schools Senator Penny Wright.

Senator Wright said the Abbott Government's adoption of the US P-TECH model was a further step along the road to privatising public education.

"While the skills students are learning need to be relevant for 21st century jobs, our schools are not for sale - big business should not be writing the curriculum," Senator Wright said.

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Pyne's political curriculum review to take schools back to the past

Penny Wright 12 Oct 2014

The Australian Greens have warned a simplistic 'back to basics' approach to the school curriculum could leave Australian students without the necessary skills to navigate the 21st century.

Responding to the release of the curriculum review today, Australian Greens spokesperson for schools Senator Penny Wright rejected Education Minister Christopher Pyne's claims it was not an ideological document.

"This review has told the Education Minster exactly what he wanted to hear, from hand-picked reviewers whose values were well-known to him," Senator Wright said.

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